Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 24 Postmortem


Brave howling winds, snow, and sleet. Gather ’round and take a seat.

winter theater

Please join us Thursday, December 3rd at 3:00 PM Central (20:00 GMT) for our monthly Hangout of the Avatar! Richard, Starr, and Chris will be chatting about Release 24 and looking ahead to Release 25!  And as usual, FireLotus will be taking your questions and feedback live in the chat-room and also in advance right here in the comments section.*

We will be giving out some really awesome prizes during the 90 minute extended Hangout, and all you have to do to qualify for one is to come hang out with us in the IRC chatroom during the broadcast.  Be sure to join us, no matter what the weather brings… the link to the hangout will be posted here directly before the hangout begins.

*Please keep in mind that questions and feedback related to Release 24 specific topics will be given priority and really verbose questions may be skipped, as they can be a challenge to shorten and summarize live on the air. In brief… please keep your questions… brief. ;)


130 Comments


  1. KuBaTRiZeSKuBaTRiZeS

    What are the plans regarding overland map interaction? something on the line of our character looking for certain things and creating dynamic MULTIPLAYER generated instances with whatever he was looking for (animals for a hunting player, bandits/undead for a patrolling player, minerals for a miners near a mountain, choppable trees around a forest, etc).

    Anything else along that lines?


  2. Bowen BloodgoodBowen Bloodgood

    Ok going to change my question slightly.. last time Starr took this on he said “after R19” so.. it’s still after R19 :)

    Q: Might it be possible that Portalarium could.. at some time in the future.. resume accepting assets from the community.. possibly beyond EP1?

    Not asking for a timeframe or details here.. just want to know if there’s still hope or if it’s just something that’s no longer practical for you guys.


  3. Sara DreygonSara Dreygon

    What ores can we expect at launch; I’m guessing Brass will be an alloy of Zinc and Copper but what else? Will alloys of Obsidian be able to be made and if so, with what?


  4. Baron Drocis FondorlatosBaron Drocis Fondorlatos

    QUESTION: I want to PVP and RP, not grind. Can we work towards making a progression system that allows players to compete in PVP without spending many hours a week grinding?

    1. Baron Drocis FondorlatosBaron Drocis Fondorlatos

      The basic question is, why do I have to grind to be good at PVP? Grinding is not fun for me.

      1. BluefireBluefire

        Grinding should be for PVE, not PVP. PVP should be a separate system, otherwise people joining the game a year after launch will likely never catch up to people that started at day one.

      2. ThurisazSheolThurisazSheol

        i’d presume some of the answer will be along the lines of “do quests, don’t grind” combined with “…but we don’t have full content in yet….so….” then “dlmb” and ending with everyone taking a shot.



  5. Doom AngelDoom Angel

    Question: Do affinities, or will they eventually effect an Avatar’s agro in relation to respective mobiles?

    1. Logain

      +1
      And are all of the creatures going to be reworked to have similar stats such as our avatars (affinities, skills with similar effects), removing some of the ‘old’ stuff like the always hitting fireball, opposed to the Avatar’s fireball that can be evaded?


    1. Ice QueenIce Queen

      Aye, currently one has to sit and play another game or watch t.v./movie while you wait through the boredom.

    2. KrohonKrohon

      Ideally, a minigame should replace the progress bar. I find mining relaxing but have to do something else at the same time.


  6. WoftamWoftam

    Dear Team, would you please grant POT owners the ability to adjust entrance/exit points to their towns? Current zone in’s don’t give any indication of life within a town, that might be built against the far side of the map.

    1. ViolationViolation

      This would be a great one to hear answered as well. I know it was answered to me by Sannio as a no, not right now… here’s the quote:

      ‘I will say that today’s POTs are both technically efficient but still weighed down by a lot of “moving parts” behind the scenes. Maintaining shared entry-from-overworld spawn locations solves a number of issues (consistency, technical, process, efficiency, etc.) for us.’ -Sannio

      I would love to have this one get answered in the dev streams now and in the future because it’s a very hot topic for town owners… our own town of Serenite is suffering from this and our good friends in Port Phoenix are as well. Many of us want custom entry points. Anyway, +1 on asking this :) I personally don’t care about it for myself but I have friends who do!!! :D

    2. Horton IrongateHorton Irongate

      Well, this would solve a lot of issues for me. If we want some of our towns to be a hub of commerce, its no use putting entrances 10 minute commutes from the town center and its vendors… I say give players an option at the loading screen: “town center, edge of town #1, or water front”.


  7. MindBlastMindBlast

    Question: Will there be an option to flag yourself as “a roleplayer” in the settings/options and then server gathers together all the roleplayers? Like it is planned to do with friends and people you have been in contact and traded with etc. but in this case for those who want play with other roleplayers.


  8. John MarkusJohn Markus

    Question: What are the plans on improving the Dynamic Lot Placement Tool ?

    Will we have the capabilities to perform boolean difference between the back-side of row lot housing (and NPC buildings) and the terrain so that we can keep the front-side of the properties nicely aligned ? (no need to have a lot of wasted space in the back due to terrain bumps and slopes)

    1. John MarkusJohn Markus

      Let me rephrase:

      Question: What are the plans on improving the Dynamic Lot Placement Tool ?

      Question: Can we have the capability to disable or relax Dynamic lot Collider so that some objects (like lots, fences and walls) can be placed partially in to the terrain ?
      (e.g. castle walls will look great if we can integrate part of it with the cliffs to form natural looking barriers).

      Question: Can we have the capability to flatten (i.e. boolean diff) ground and slopes ?


  9. SmokerKGBSmokerKGB

    Question: Will weather and scene lighting be adjusted? I’ve seen rain with full day light and shadows under dark skies…

    Question: Will the scenes Day / Night ever be sync’d to the Over World map?

    Question: Will those Jet Airliner sounds ever go away in some scenes?


  10. Rufus D`AsperdiRufus D`Asperdi

    Question: What are the plans to allow for the establishment of Central Markets in towns?

    Richard himself has stated that he didn’t like the sight of rows of houses, each with a vendor in the front yard. Being able to establish a central market in a town would be more realistic, provide easier shopping for players, provide a natural gathering place in towns, and not require those who wish to sell their wares (especially Row House owners) to open their properties to anyone who wishes to enter.

    1. redfishredfish

      I like the idea of central markets. But shop signs will also help get vendors off of yards; also, a nameplate scheme like we see with game NPCs, where you have to talk to the vendor first to know his name. So, you’d see “Vendor” or something more specific like “Weapons Vendor” maybe, until you double-click on them, and then you get the name — and we don’t see floating text saying “GET CHEAP WAREZ HERE” above the vendors. If vendors are put on a schedule like game NPCs, that would also help, because they’d need a routed schedule between a bed [where they’d sleep] and a sales counter or cart [where they’d sell]. There would be restrictions on how you can place these, and at any rate, they vendors would need to go back in the house to sleep.

      1. Baron Drocis FondorlatosBaron Drocis Fondorlatos

        A related follow-up questions would be, will we ever have a Keep sized Arena Basement?


  11. ViolationViolation

    Question:
    (full version so you understand if asked to clarify) This is the first release that many of the level 50+ players have commented that combat is feeling a lot more balanced and the different builds are all playable at higher levels. Do you guys plan at addressing the difficulty of pure mages leveling and pure archers leveling compared to people in plate or do you feel like the difficulty of leveling is about on par with what you want and only has some minor tweaking left?
    (short version to read on air) Do you guys plan on adjusting low end ranged and magic build survivability while grinding?

    Question:
    (full version so you understand if asked to clarify) This release came with a major overhaul in the way you guys are patching systems. In the previous releases you guys hit bugs after the launch and left features for future releases. This time I’ve noticed several large things (like the water in Vengeance) get updated 4 and 5 patches in that weren’t bugs. Is this going to be the new trend as you approach Alpha?
    (short version to read on air) Do you guys plan to push new content in as soon as possible between “releases” or plan to stay on a larger monthly scheme like you have in the past to drive larger participation weekends?

    Question:
    (full version so you understand if asked to clarify) due to the balancing of things being patchable live it’s very difficult to track exactly when/what issue was happening. One of the things I noticed is that fishing got adjusted midstream without a patch being deployed. I was extremely frustrated with my initial experience while fishing and then I got pacified to only dissatisfied. Due to the fluid nature of these changes to you expect to see bad bug reporting and feedback based on dated intel or do you have an internal method of tracking this?
    (short version to read on air) Do you guys track the live, while servers are online, changes like fishing chance and other sliders between patches to aid bug reporting and feedback?

    Question:
    (full version because I’m a smart butt :)) how many Portalarium employees does it take to screw in a lightbulb? No really, we have like 6 month old bug reports here and ya’ll are still not getting around to them… I mean I paid a whooappin’ $25 a couple years ago during kickstarter and I expect better response than this NAO! Okay, this isn’t really the question, check the short question, Happy Thanksgiving FireLotus :) (two thumbs way up for the extra QA guy!!!)
    (short version to read on air) With the newly bolstered QA team rapidly responding to bug reports have you guys noticed more positive feedback from the community?



    1. StarLordStarLord

      Would also like to see new items.

      Also I do not like the current system that the crafted item only depends on the source materials.
      From 1 ingot I should be able to craft either some arrow heads or knives or forks etc.
      Or recipes with granite: you get a paver, then +1 granite you have a wall, then +1 granite you get a block, etc.
      There should be templates as well to craft different items with same resources.



  12. Logain

    1.Could you explain how you envision watching distant items through the spyglass?
    (In detail: Would you be able to use nightvision and could you select stealthed player to reveal them through the spyglass)?

    2. Could you talk a bit on how Elves would differ in stats and potentially training skills from humanoids, especially in relation to the ‘Elven armour bonus’?


  13. redfishredfish

    QUESTION: What’s going on with Tumble and combat rolls?

    The changes were made without any announcement, as far as I’m aware. As a Light Armor player, Tumble was my most used Light Armor skill, it allowed me to double up my defenses in combination with another defense glyph, and I can rarely get combat rolls to work now.

    What are future plans?

    1. SkyoSkyo

      This is a good one. I pull also want to know why there is so much lag on these. For these to be used and add to playability and skill they need to be immediately responsive. Right now it almost takes 3-4 full seconds to complete this…


  14. redfishredfish

    QUESTION: What’s going on with movement speed on the map?

    A few releases ago, it was sped up, which I’m sure made some people happier. But besides all other concerns, right now its fast enough that I have trouble staying along Perennial Road if I want to troll it for random encounters. Movement is so fast that I often veer off the curves and have to get back on the road.

    Are there plans to slow it down again? Was the speed up temporary?


  15. redfishredfish

    QUESTION: What’s going on with performance optimizations for player housing?

    Right now, when I enter my house, it takes a long while before all the decoration appears, and it does so in stages. Worse still, fencing sometimes might take a while to show up, meaning people can wander into lots and get stuck in them.

    Please tell us the current work that’s being done in this area and what the future plans are. @Chris


  16. redfishredfish

    QUESTION: What’s going on with decoration stacking mechanics, and other mechanics like leaning some decorations against others (leaning a book slantwise)?

    Right now, its impossible to stack map scrolls, and a lot of food decoration, and its difficult or impossible to stack a lot of items aesthetically?

    If not a priority right now, please detail future plans.


  17. redfishredfish

    QUESTION: What’s going on with cover and shadow mechanics?

    Cover is slated for inclusion in R25. But will these eventually play a role in Subterfuge stealth skills? So that stealth is more operative when the player is in cover and shadow? Chris mentioned in AMA that there’s currently some hesitation to use it, since many scenes aren’t designed for stealth.

    However, I think a lot of players would be happy if this made it in, and Subterfuge stealth didn’t work like an invisibility spell. Please talk about challenges involved in making this happen, and future plans.


  18. redfishredfish

    QUESTION: What’s going on with art asset submission? What’s going on with release of assets to Dev+?

    Bowen Bloodgood wants to know! (And so do a lot of other people).


  19. fireflygirl

    Question: is there any chance that we can get some basic information on the Celestial Bodies and the constellations, like official names so we can at least talk about them. I understand that having some mystery to their mythology and their movement to discover in game is important, but knowing there names at least would be nice.


  20. Dean478Dean478

    Question:

    Richard Garriott said he was going to attempt to organise interviews with the other “real life” companions of the Avatar, specifically he mentioned e-mailing Jaana. Are these still going to happen?


  21. BluefireBluefire

    Question:
    Why is the Tamed Creatures profession unlike any other system in the game? In crafting objects have decay not perma-death. Skills are not limited for gain by 1 hour timers. Please remove these two aspects to make playing as a tamed creature handler viable and fun. I cannot foresee a market for pets that cost several thousand gold (or more) that permanently die randomly and cannot be summoned at will.

    1. Pk uPk u

      +1 Taming still feels like an after thought. I want it to be difficult but epic, currently it’s more confusing and blah.


  22. ThurisazSheolThurisazSheol

    Question:
    are there plans to have more than one town-sized water home, for RF/F pledges?

    Question:
    i’ve seen many requests for log cabins. i want to build one in game, and i want to buy one in the store. can we expect either, at some point, for both village and town lot sizes?

    Question:
    will crafters be able to build a home, and then sell it in game to someone else?


  23. Miracle DragonMiracle Dragon

    Question: Does the Dev team have a seamstress/tailor, making all the in-game clothing in real life for LARPING? Could this be a thing in the future? Will we ever see Dev members wearing the velvet Christmas bodice IRL? :-O

    *Drops the mic*


  24. amaasingamaasing

    Question:
    When will all the dyes come back in game?

    Question:
    Can we also get stains where we can stain our furniture to be all the same color in a room?


  25. amaasingamaasing

    Question:
    Can you talk about what foods will be upcoming to be used for decorations (Roasts, Pies, Bowls of Stew, Ceramic Jugs of Milk, etc.?

    Question: Is there a chance of getting forks, spoons, and knives in game for proper table settings?

    1. redfishredfish

      There are some assets already in the game but which are impossible to obtain for decoration, like chicken thighs in the Ardoris palace, and a whole roasted chicken, and potatoes. I kind of wish they have some way to let us take the deco items, at least until they make the real food items placeable, just so we can do neat things with them. Also, a lot of the assets we can obtain from merchant carts are unplaceable, like the apples, tomatoes, turnips, carrots, many of the fish (one can only be placed on the ground, and not on tables).


  26. SkyoSkyo

    Question:

    Right now every player in game uses the wonderful healing tree… It’s a necessity when soloing and so easily accessible, really no reason not to. Are there plans in place to fix this? Do we need help with ideas? Everyone running around with healing spells makes every character more the same, rather than more diverse.

    If specializing in healing not only had a negative impact on death magic but overall damage as well. Let’s say 20% decrease. Then we could add in a passive in this tree that brought that down to a 10% decrease when fully leveled. This would make players make a harder decision when investing in the healing tree. Then add a bandage skill to tactics that would heal players up to 75% of their life pool.


  27. Baron Drocis FondorlatosBaron Drocis Fondorlatos

    QUESTION: What’s the design goal for allowing players to “pick locks”? Can you tell us more about what players will use this skill to do? Will this work on player homes? How will players defend themselves from this?


  28. Logain

    Question to Chris:
    In one of your first videos ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQowuSParmA ) you mention both PvP flag and ‘level’ as important selectors for the relevance algorithm of the selective multiplayer mode. What happened to this idea?

    (Explanation: If we have a unidirectional PvP segregation, as the algorithm suggests, what is the use of the newly implemented ‘temporal flagging’, given that you’d hardly ever see a PvP player spotting a PvP player who is not on PvE just to join and tag along with friends)?


  29. niteowl57niteowl57

    Question:
    When will we be able to purchase the tools and recipes needed to craft wooden plates and bowls used in cooking recipes?


  30. Raven SwiftbowRaven Swiftbow

    Will we be able to use all these granite blocks we are collecting to make a duplicate version of the castle walls in game?

    Longer explanation:
    We had originally envisioned a walled area in our POT, sort of like upper Owl’s Head. We estimate that it would cost us over $2,500 (on top of what we paid for our Metro POT) to try and do that with the store-purchased walls. As much as we want to support Portalarium financially, we have limits, unfortunately.

    Further, if they *were* craftable, it would be a great “guild project” to collect however many blocks that would be needed to create one wall section.

    Thx!

    1. Raven SwiftbowRaven Swiftbow

      P.S. Yes, I see the awesome wall building that Athanil has done – but are all of those craftable? On reading the write up on it, it sounded like some were store bought and they were mixed? [Bottom Line: Ignore my original question if all aspects are already craftable, but my thinking was that they were not.]

    2. redfishredfish

      DarkStarr said that they’d be craftable using granite next release. The bigger problem, though, is the POT deco limit, IMO.


  31. Raven SwiftbowRaven Swiftbow

    Question – If we are given craftable castle walls, will they give POT owners more than 130 lock-downs in a POT so we can use them?

    It has been pointed out to me that even if we could craft the walls, with a limit of 130 lock-downs outside of lots in the town, there would be no way to place them!!

    130 lock-downs? That’s all a POT owner gets?


  32. SeleneNoctuaSeleneNoctua

    Thank you so much for all the work that has gone into taming so far! I look forward to seeing how it will evolve. Is there a plan in the future to make pets trainable so that a pet used over time will become stronger (and more valuable) than one freshly tamed? Or will they always be like disposable forks, essentially interchangeable?





  33. Lord LonnLord Lonn

    Question? GM:
    I’m hoping that they will change in the upcoming updates. Now being a GM I see no advantage just an example GM in Smelting you would eventually get success in each copper/iron ingot however when you would do a bronze or white iron you would start at 64% and have many misses waste products. Now I would NOT! smelt a ingot or ore that I did not use a 12 percent of salvage metal. I have to add that it was a gift that we got the advantage of the salvage use…
    GM Salvage: this was a bit more of a disappointment only because it never changed from start to over being a GM. which I am. As a GM out of 50 tries of salvaging a rusty sword I got 20 of them was 4 stones 24 were 17 stones and 6 attempts were 25 stones. these figures never changed. I would like to at least be able to salvage more that 1 item at a time as a GM.



  34. Logain

    Question: Is crafting and refining going to add constant instead of diminishing experience with the conversion to the use based system? Problem: People have to gather to gain the experience to advance in crafting right now.


  35. Logain

    Question: Are we going to see more (not PvP enforced) dedicated resource multiplayer scenes someday?
    Every single mining scene is solo/party so far (Owl’s Nest MINE, Graff Gem MINE, Epitaph, Etceter MINE,…). I really wish I could see and communicate with others that are trying to mine without having to bash their head ;)


  36. Pk uPk u

    Question: is it still in the plan where houses can be moved arround on the lot.

    I’d really like to use some of the cool ad on store stuff but it won’t fit unless I can shift things a bit ;). Can’t drop the cash for a city lot so dynamic placement is my only hope.


  37. Logain

    Question: If you had to play this game (without developer powers/shortcuts) and get high enough level to be competitive in a one on one PvP fight, what time-frame would you have in mind to reach that state (1 month, 3, 6, 9, a year…)?

    Question: Is there going to be an incentive to ‘flag PvP’ from the very beginning (right as Level 1), instead of waiting, grinding up and then flagging when you’re in range of the highest ranked players? And if so, what would you have in mind to be such an incentive?


  38. AncevAncev

    How will the Pick Locks skill work?

    Will enemy Guild houses or guild ‘buildings’ be raid-able or stolen from? How can that be incentivized for players to store loot in their guildhouses vs their personal houses? (eg: a guild warhouse, treasury chest, etc)

    Will ‘physical’ locks of different strength or quality need to be created using Blacksmithing?


  39. AartemisAartemis

    QUESTION: Can Player Towns get the option to set the default “Archway” for Entrance into the town, and if so, when might we see that?

    (There are so many nice areas of templates, but entering the same spot on every one just becomes mundane. A Boat on the Docks, and of the 4 or Archways spread across the scene… Perhaps maybe Right click the Arch (or Boat on the docks) and “Set as Default Entrance?”)



  40. NeiroNeiro

    Questions for the hangout:

    1) Will we ever get the option to not have a house on a row lot? I’d love to place a crypt and stuff on one instead of having a house there.

    2) Are you aware of how expensive it is to start up as a bowyer, and are you planning on somehow fixing that? (arrow prices are higher than your yelds even if you didn’t spend money on skills)

    3) Is there any hope for us with a Village sized Obsidian Tower, that you will redesign the interior to make it at least somewhat useful instead of just cool looking? (Town size has great interior, village size only has a useful ground floor and then a staircase that goes to a ladder)


  41. AncevAncev

    Will there be Deadly Poison in the game? Can food be poisoned in the future?

    Also the poison weapon skill is pretty rough for skill gain, how about poison potions having multiple charges?

    If we could determine our laws in POT’s it might be interesting if poison was one of the illegal items guards would react to.. (for fear of Nobles being poisoned, etc) if they find it on you, you get throw into the town jail, etc

    1. redfishredfish

      Having different varieties of poisons would be nice, with some rarer and more dangerous to handle than others. (Thinking of ghost corpion venom)


  42. GameDelver

    Overworld Map Question:

    Are there plans in the future to remove the Overworld map and institute a open world system such as UO’s?


  43. blaquerogueblaquerogue

    Q:
    Is there anyway we can make leveling (Adv Leveling) any easier? Killing wolves, small spiders, etc.. over and over gets pretty boring.

    Skills – Magic should be more powerful, and melee damage should be more powerful.

    Mix up the creatures a little more, wolves, bears, (Mongbats?), a group of 3 kolbolds wandering around fighting stuff, maby a mage of some kind out getting herbs, but he really hates people so he will attack you if he sees you for invading his area of collection, a small patrol of bandits. etc..

    and make them drop more gold, better weapons and armor. Stuff like that would make the world more alive! and less repetitive.

    1. blaquerogueblaquerogue

      Also make gathering a little more worthy, give us at least 2 to 3 of the item we are harvesting.


  44. Mimner

    Question: Pure mages use reagents up as they harvest them unless they don’t use their main abilities. Is it possible to allow mages to opt out of using reagents even if they’re present in our inventory?


  45. Mimner

    Question: Has the development team considered allowing parties of players to travel the overland map as a group, all represented by one avatar, for the purposes of random encounters? This could allow for more challenging and engaging group-based encounters. It could also make certain areas of the overland map too dangerous to travel alone.


  46. blaquerogueblaquerogue

    Q: Is there anyway that you could set skills up so if you want a class (D&D) you would have class skill section for those that want a particular class, but also have the any skills options for those that do not want it??


  47. AncevAncev

    May have already been covered in the past – any chance we’ll be able to use runic or encrypted text to label chests, books, doors, etc – people that would have the cipher could understand the writing…?




  48. Palinor Tyne

    QUESTION: Will the Kinsman Buckler be a real companion weapon held by the hand and able to parry, deflect, and attack as mentioned on Wikipedia or will it simply be a small blocking shield strapped to the arm (in which case it should be renamed to be a shield)? If it is a real buckler could a new Offhand school tree be designed to replace the Medium Armour school opposite the Shield school on the Combat Sigil?


  49. niteowl57niteowl57

    The recorded Hangout video ended abruptly, at exactly one hour. I believe that happened last time as well. Please record the entire hangout.

    1. Ravicus Domdred

      aye, it ends shortly after 40 minutes. It sucks not not be able to see the second half of the hangout.


  50. Palinor Tyne

    Unlike last time they were able to record the rest of Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 24 Postmortem part 2 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxXq3jMYBqE. Last time Youtube tricked everybody into thinking that it was a brief glitch of a few seconds in the live broadcast and that it was still recording. The hangouts should be simulcast from Twitch so there is a backup video.

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